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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by st13phil, Aug 23, 2017.
Interesting article by Quentin Willson here: London’s Anti-Car Legacy
Very interesting read, thank you.
My God. As far away as that? They must have been explorers.
I must confess, I do feel a bit like an explorer when I visit Bradford or Manchester...
London's problem is not one of congestion, its one of centralisation where very large numbers of people are forced to congregate in a relatively small area from a surrounding connurbation. I would suggest Quentin Wilson's solution would simply end up enabling motorists to reach the inevitable traffic jam slightly more quickly. Did he mention one of the largest traffic jams in the world the M25? Thought not.
You're correct Graeme, but only to a limited extent.
Traffic congestion is one of those things that politicians think they can control, but the reality is that it's self regulating: Once the level of congestion becomes untenable in the eyes of the traveller, they will choose to avoid the journey. That may be by changing the time of travel, the route, start or destination point (i.e. change employer or move house if it's a work commute). They may even change the mode of travel, but as QW points out, that's not actually a viable alternative for the massive majority of journeys and never will be.
What QW also points out is the obvious: TfL are engaged in the systematic reduction of capacity for travel by road in London, yet they cannot increase capacity for alternate modes sufficiently to compensate. Having failed in that task, they have then turned to promoting the disingenuous argument that private cars are the root of all pollution to "justify" more of the failing medicine that they argue is needed as a result of their own policies. In other words, they are creating a problem that their preferred "solution" miraculously solves. Except it doesn't.
Some may argue (with a degree of truth) that the UK's centre of gravity is too heavily biased to London. I would agree with that argument to a large extent. But what is happening in London today will without question be applied to other cities in the UK tomorrow, with even less justification.
I don't know if there's a practical solution to London's congestion problems, but just to say that I live near the elevated section of the A40 between White City and Paddington, and it was fascinating reading the history behind it.
I often wondered about this mysterious short stretch of Motorway-quality road connecting the super-congested A40 in the Acton area to the super-congested Marylebone Road in Central London... it seemed to make no sense having a seemingly-random part of a congested route developed into a fast 3-lane road.
but having read the article, I now realise that it was part of an abandoned project.
It also explains the many new developments along the western part of the A40.
From 45 to 42 years ago I used to commute by car from Harrow to South Bank via the A40, Westway, Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner.
Don't think it would be viable today.
I know that entire area very well, even more so now I'm working over at the BBC. I remember before Westfield was there and the Paddington Basin was a place where clamped cars went and the black cabs were parked up. Big changes.
As a kid I lived in Wimbledon/Merton.
Started driving 1959.
Used to drink with mates on a Friday night and only afterwards drive into London/Soho.
Several things about that.
We could drink and drive legally.
South London to Soho in about 20 minutes.
We parked easily for free in Soho or Chelsea.
Our cars were actually clapped out but we didn't think so.
We were stupid enough to do it.
I've lived in London for nearly three decades and I'm quite happy with what's going on.
I cycle to work in the city if I can. If not I take the tube or one of the overground services. The tubes are modern, clean and pretty reliable. The Met Line even has a/c these days. If I take the train it's the City Link, again pretty good. If I have client meetings I can be just about anywhere in 20-30 minutes on foot or by tube.
My wife cycles to work most of the time and my son walks to school. My daughter still gets a lift but in a year and half if we get her into the school we'd like she'll be taking the tube.
The City of London has announced plans to pedestrianise a large are around Bank and Old Broad Street and I think it's a great idea.
I do love my cars but more so out of town than in it.
I've been driving in London professionally since 1968
A combination of all the things that Mr Wilson mentioned has added to the nearly gridlocking of London. It will never improve, I remember when Ken was Mayor he changed the traffic lights to go slow London is a building site, I don't think I've ever seen so many cranes, which obviously means more lorry's.
What really frustrates me on a daily basis is the total lack of common sense communication, due to all the building and road works Tfl for some unknown reason never let you know at the beginning of the road that it is closed, no it waits for you to half way down "Road Closed"
Then all the empty buses all plying on the same route for the same passengers, you cant believe the chaos they cause The worst thing was when they went private. :fail
This maybe of interest, a map of where TfL licenced private hire drivers live by postcode.
The Westway was a controversial project in its time and saw the clearance of many Regency and Victorian properties. A lot of them were somewhat down-at-heel by the 1960s but all would be worth a fortune now:
Building the Westway 1964-1970 |
The road is even referenced by The Clash in London's Burning.